Wave of suicide bombings rock Kabul

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Kabul, Feb. 26 (ANI): A suicide bomber has blown himself up in a Kabul hotel, while two other suicide attackers were shot dead by police on Friday morning.

According to Afghanistan's Interior Ministry, two would-be bombers were killed and one injured after an initial explosion at a kebab shop near a nine-story shopping complex which houses the Safi Landmark Hotel.

Sky News quoted an interior ministry spokesman as saying: "A suicide bomber detonated himself in front of a kebab shop near the Safi Landmark. Two other suicide bombers were shot dead by police in the same area."

An eyewitness said he saw the suicide bomber blowing himself up on the first floor of the hotel while he was running out from the premises after hearing the first explosion near the kebab shop.

"I saw foreigners were crying and shouting. It was a very bad situation inside. God helped me, otherwise I would be dead. I saw one suicide bomber blowing himself up on the first floor of the hotel," said Najibullah, a hotel worker, whose face and hands were covered in blood.

Sporadic gunfire could be heard in the area, which was cordoned off by police, more than an hour after the initial explosion, which sent clouds of grey smoke billowing into the sky.

Witnesses said they heard at least two smaller explosions and said they saw gunmen enter the building.

The four-star hotel is about 15 minutes by road from Kabul International Airport, and is close to most government offices.

Police have released no details of casualties do far, but said few people were in the vicinity of the city centre shopping area because it was very early in the morning.

Sources said that Afghan police, armed with Kalashnikov rifles, exchanged gunshots with another suspected attacker before taking cover in the doorways of shops.

Residents were told by loud speaker to stay in their homes while the sound of sirens wailed through the streets. (ANI)

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